Shall We Play A Game?

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Remember Khrushchev-Nixon Kitchen Debate? America recognized its consumer culture was a Cold War weapon. By the early 80s, the home computer in the hands of teenagers further demonstrated American dominance on the economic and cultural fronts. But what happens when teenagers check out of real life and responsibilities too much? We look at films that can be taken as cautionary tales about the dangers of teenagers (or young adults) who don’t take the Cold War seriously. The focus is on the seemingly apolitical, irresponsible and anti-social nature of the modern, video game playing white, affluent American youth. Our more serious films are Wargames, from 1983, and The Falcon and the Snowman, from 1985. But we also throw in a little bit of The Last Starfighter (1984) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) just to spice things up.

Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here.

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